The_Vision_for_CE_in_2025

The_Vision_for_CE_in_2025 - ivil engineers are rightfully...

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Unformatted text preview: ivil engineers are rightfully proud of their leg— acy. During the past century, clean water sup— plies have extended general life expectancies. Transportation systems serve as an economic and social engine. Public and private construction, for which engineers provide the essential underpinnings of design and project oversight, produce hundreds of thousands ofjobs and drive community development. Indeed, civil engineers have made their mark on many aspects ofthe daily life ofpeople around the globe. Current trends, however, pose questions about the future of the profession. These questions concern the role that civil engineers play—and could play—in society in addressing the ultimate integrity of the world’s infrastructure and ensuring the health of the natural environment. Civil engineers find themselves keepers of an impressive legacy while they simul— taneously raise concerns about their future. They know they must demonstrate leadership; they know they must control their own destiny rather than allow events to control them. The purpose of the Summit on the Future of Civil Engi— neering was to articulate a global vision for the future of civil engineering that would address all levels and facets of the Civil engineering community—professional (licensed) civil engineers, unlicensed civil engineers, technologists, and technicians. It is the hope of the summit’s organizers—and probably the vast majority ofits participants—that the global 66 0885—7()24—/07-()008—0066/325 .00 per article Th_e Visi_on for Civil Englneerlng In 2025 Injune 2006 a diverse group ofcivil engineering and other leaders gathered in Lansdowne, Virginia, to participate in the Summit on the Future of Civil Engineering. Their purpose was to articulate a global vision for the future of civil engineering addressing all levels and facets (f the civil engineering community. Their report, prepared by the ASCE Steering Committee to Plan a Summit on the Future ofthe Civil Engineering Profession in 2025, was published injune. This article is a distillation ofthe report. vision presented in this report will guide policies, plans, pro— cesses, and progress within the global civil engineering com— munity. This vision can influence civil engineering around the world and engage other civil engineering disciplines and professions as well. The vision states the following: Entrusted by society to create a sustainable world and enhance the global quality of life, civil engineers serve competently, collaboratively, and ethically as master planners, designers, constructors, and operators of society’s economic and social engineithe built environment; master stewards of the natural environ— ment and its resources; master innovators and integrators of ideas and technology across the public, private, and academic sectors; master managers of risk and uncertainty caused by natural events, accidents, and other threats; and leaders in discussions and decisions shaping public environmental and infrastructure policy. As used in this vision statement the term “master” means possessing widely recognized and val— ued knowledge and skills and other attributes acquired as a result of education, experience, and achievement. Individu— als within a profession who possess these characteristics are often willing and able to serve society by devising solutions to society’s most pressing current needs while helping to cre— ate a more viable future. As a point of clarification, this vision statement should not be confused with ASCE’s vision of “engineers as global Civil Engineering AUGUST 2007 leaders building a better quality of life.” The ASCE vision, which was formulated a number of years ago, describes the role of ASCE in helping engineers achieve and maintain the status of global leaders, That vision statement has been used as an ASCE slogan of sorts. The vision 2025 statement addresses the role and responsibility of the global civil engi— neering profession, not of ASCE. The summit generated many ideas by discussing the civil engineer’s world of2025. In particular, participants addressed two questions: What will be different in the world of 2025? What could civil engineers be doing in that different world? The answers to the first question define the stage on which civil engineers will perform two decades from now. The answers to the second define the roles civil engineers could play. While civil engineers will not be able to greatly influ— ence the stage, they can determine the acts in which they will appear and the roles they will play. The following sce— nario was developed using summit results and a presummit ASCE member survey about aspirations and visions for civil engineering in 2025: he year is 2025. At the second World Civil Engineer— Ting Societies Triennial Symposium, held in Rio de Janeiro, engineers representing industry, academia, and government meet to continue the collaboration initiated six years ago in Porto (Oporto), Portugal. At the conclusion ofdeliberations, conference organizers submit reports on the status of sustainability in the world, research and develop— ment, risk management, innovation and integration, and reform in the preparation of engineers. The report on sustainability notes that the global civil engineering profession has increasingly recognized the real— ity ofshrinking resources, the desire for sustainable practices and design, and the need for social equity in the consump» tion of resources. Civil engineers have helped to raise global expectations with regard to sustainability and environmen— tal stewardship. The profession has led the way in achievv ing world acceptance of “green” design and has been at the forefront in making environmental considerations part of life—cycle and cost—benefit analyses. Civil engineers have been urging clients to use new, environmentally friendly technologies to improve the quality of life in urban envi— ronments. Designs routinely incorporate recycling, either by using recycled materials or by making project components recyclable at the end of their useful lives. New processes less harmful to the environment have been implemented, and most new construction is based on green and “smart” build— ing technologies. Many new buildings actually produce more energy than they consume. On the demographic front, the world is well on its way to a population exceeding 10 billion by 2050. Today people occupy more space on the planet than they did 30 years ago AUGUST 2007 Civil Engineering Shifting demographics and population growth continue to strain the overburdened infrastructure. The shift of people from rural areas to cities and exurban areas has accelerated, resulting in increased population density in those areas around the world. In the developed world, infrastructure is aging, and maintenance or replacement has not kept pace with its deterioration. In the developing world the need for new infrastructure outstrips society’s ability to put it in place. and they are straining the earth’s environment, particularly when it comes to such natural resources as clean water and air. During the past 30 years global warming has profoundly affected the more than half of the world’s population that lives within 50 mi (80.5 km) of coastal areas. These areas have become much harsher places in which to live because of the rise in sea levels, increased storm activity, and greater susceptibility to flooding. The growing population, shrink— ing resources, and climate change have put sustainability at the forefront of issues requiring global attention. Shifting demographics and population growth continue to strain the overburdened infrastructure. The shift of peo— ple from rural areas to cities and exurban areas has acceler— ated, resulting in increased population density in those areas around the world. In the developed world, infrastructure is aging, and maintenance or replacement has not kept pace with its deterioration. In the developing world the need for new infrastructure outstrips society’s ability to put it in place. Influenced by civil engineering leadership, people now bet— ter understand the link between infrastructure and the qual— ity of life, and that insight has caused a major public policy shift in favor of improved infrastructure maintenance and accelerated infrastructure construction. Twenty—five years after promulgation of the Millennium Development Goals, some progress has been made but the goals remain for the most part unmet against a backdrop of increasingly urgent global demand for environmental secu— rity and restoration. (The Millennium Development Goals are the eight goals agreed upon by 192 United Nations mem— ber states. Signed in September 2000, the United Nations Millennium Declaration committed those member states to trying to achieve the following goals by 2015: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary edu— cation; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainabil~ ity; and develop a global partnership for development.) Improved understanding of the environment and accep— tance of broadly shared environmental values have led to the realization that global environmental problems must be solved with global solutions. Nations unwilling to accept these values face worldwide pressure to conform to global norms for sustainability to improve the quality oflife around the world. Demands for sustainable energy, clean drinking water, clean air, and safe waste disposal drive infrastructure devel— opment on a global scale. Limited resources and growing energy demands have led to the need to prioritize energy resources and use alternative fuels. The use of clean coal, carbon sequestration, nuclear energy, and such renewable resources as wind, solar power, waves, and geothermal energy has made it possible to meet growing demands. Moreover, increased urbanization has led to greatly increased use of mass transit and much less reliance on automobiles, which has greatly reduced demand for fossil fuels. Most vehicles now use fuel cell technology or such renewable resources as ethanol. The need for clean drinking water continues to be a global issue. Rapid urbanization in developing countries has made it a challenge to meet ever growing demands for potable water. Improved water purification methods, includ— ing desalination technologies, and greater use of closed—loop systems have helped meet needs. Gray—water systems are gaining in use, and there has been a philosophical shift in favor of purifying water at the point of use in decentralized systems. This has reduced the need to treat large quantities ofwater to conform to drinking water standards when only a small fraction of the water is ingested by humans. It has also led to energy savings for water treatment. Considerations of sustainability are also behind demands for safe waste disposal and for increased recycling and reuse In 2025 the civil engineering enterprise will be focused on fast-track development of technologies. Steps taken by the profession during the past two decades in the areas of information technology and data management have significantly improved the way in‘ which facilities are designed, engineered, built, and maintained. 68 to make substantial reductions in the waste stream. Advances in nuclear technology have changed the requirements for the disposal of highly radioactive nuclear waste. Life—cycle design philosophies have taken hold, resulting in nearly zero net waste and greater savings in the energy consumed in waste disposal. Nearly everything is recycled and reused. New global standards for sustainable design, promulgated by nongovermnental organizations, have been implemented to meet the global demand for sustainability, making it unnecessary for any one country to maintain its own unique standards. Adoption ofthese international standards and best practices for sustainability has been facilitated by a grow— ing awareness of liability concerns on a global scale. To an increasing extent, projects address regional and global issues as well as local issues because of converging environmental outlooks in the global community and the need for sustainr ability and project integrity. One key to stability in the world is greater equality in living standards. Ahead ofplan, leadership and collaboration with major stakeholders around the world have narrowed the gaps separating advanced, developing, and underdevel— oped nations. The research and development report notes that an inter— national commission was established to define a strategic direction for global investment in research and development. The profession has defined a balanced approach in setting the research agenda, spearheading intradisciplinary, cross~ disciplinary, and multidisciplinary collaboration in prioritiz— ing basic research needs on national and global levels. What is more, civil engineers provide critical technical guidance in defining public policy. Civil engineering quickly moved to the forefront to define the research agenda for nanoscience, nanotechnology, and biotechnology applications in the 2025 infrastructure environment. Engineers recognized the fact that nanosci— ence and nanotechnology products are the vehicles for major technological innovation in a broad range ofproducts affect~ ing virtually every industry. Civil engineers from industry, academia, and government worked on the development of instrumentation, metrology, and standards to realize a robust nanomanufacturing capability. This permitted the physical dimensions, properties, and functionality of the materi— als, processes, tools, systems, and products that constitute nanomanufacturing to be measured and characterized. This advance, in turn, made it possible for production to be con— trolled, predicted, and scaled to meet market needs. In 2025 the civil engineering enterprise will be focused on fast—track development of technologies. Steps taken by the profession during the past two decades in the areas of information technology and data management have signifie cantly improved the way in which facilities are designed, engineered, built, and maintained. Civil Engineering AUGUST 2007 Today those seeking admission to the practice of engineering at the professional level must demonstrate that they have acquired the appropriate body of knowledge through education and experience. Gaining acceptance of the body of knowledge concept has taken more than 20 years, but the concept is now embraced throughout much of the world. As the risk management report notes, the world of 2025 is a high—risk environment in which there is an ongoing threat of large~scale natural disasters and acts of terrorism. Civil engineers are at the forefront in developing appropri— ate approaches and designs for managing and mitigating risk. Risk decisions for particular projects are made at multiple levels as engineers become leaders ofenterprise risk manage— ment, some holding the title of chief risk officer. Risk is clearly a major driver of innovation as engineers evaluate what new materials, processes, and designs might be used while weighing the potential for failure~balancing risk and reward. Governments have instituted faster turn— around times for new regulations, permitting ever accelerat— ing innovation. The application of global, performance—based codes and standards has become widespread in enhancing the world’s infrastructure, and civil engineers have been at the forefront in developing such guidelines. To address heightened threats and threat variability from place to place, global codes and standards have become risk based, thereby more readily addressing local conditions. Threats from natural disasters and terrorism continue to change as world conditions evolve, and the developers ofcodes and standards have become more proficient and proactive in adapting standards accordingly. In addressing the variations in local risk, engineers are also educating society on the limitations of new technology so that expectations can be properly managed and informed decisions can be made on how infrastructure is constructed. Large multinational corporations have continued to expand and have become major economic forces on a global scale, total corporate revenues exceeding the gross domestic products ofmany nations. In part because oftheir global pro~ duction and supply networks, they have exerted considerable influence over environmental norms and standards in many nations. These multinational corporations are now major drivers of global environmental standards, and the opportu— AUGUST 2007 Civil Engineering nity for promoting tougher standards worldwide has grown. Economic forces help effect such environmental improve— ment, but less stringent environmental standards still prevail in some less developed countries. Local compliance issues also remain a challenge. Project delivery has become an increasingly complex and multifaceted process. Twenty—five years ago an owner often hired a design professional to develop plans and specifica— tions that were given to a contractor, who transformed them into a finished product. The design team of 2025 includes a multitude of participants, many of whom are not engi— neering professionals but work in such related fields as man— agement, environmental sciences, social sciences, law, and planning. Moreover, the contractor’s team is no longer lim— ited to members of a few trades but rather is composed of members of dozens of specialized trades. As master innovators and integrators, civil engineers are the leaders who help develop and implement new technolo— gies to create competitive advantages. The report on innova— tion and integration notes that civil engineers are educated, trained, and well equipped to serve at the forefront of efforts to adapt and integrate these new technologies into both design and construction. Civil engineers recognize that a narrow focus on construction is no longer valid and that their focus must be multifaceted, multidisciplinary, and holistic. Civil engineers are also the leaders in developing and implementing appropriate continuing education that encom— passes the master builder/integrator concept. The team and integrator attributes are part of the continuing education curriculum. The instantaneous exchange of ideas between engi— neers and other professionals has facilitated teamwork in decentralized work environments. In those locations where cyberspace is still not available, the use ofwireless handheld, voice—activated devices has kept engineers connected. Proj— ects. are now staffed and managed as ifthe project team were its own company. Some have reported that the focus on the project outcome rather than on the discipline in charge has led to dramatic improvements. The civil engineer as master integrator facilitated these improvements. The report on reform in the preparation of engineers notes that owing to the leadership of civil engineers, the global engineering profession has made broad changes in the academic prerequisites for professional practice. Today those seeking admission to the practice of engineering at the professional level must demonstrate that they have acquired the appropriate body of knowledge through education and experience. Gaining acceptance of the body of knowledge concept has taken more than 20 years, but the concept is now embraced throughout much of the world. Civil engineering education and early experience have been reformed. This reform was dictated in part by the Today’s civil engineers must transform themselves to meet the challenges of tomorrow. They must stay abreast of changing technologies, market trends, and business developments. Civil engineers must develop and implement new methods that help to further the goals of sustainable development and new products that do not harm the environment. Furthermore, they must develop new business practices to lead the way into tomorrow. recognition that academia and industry must cooperate and partner in conferring baccalaureate and postbaccalaureate degrees and in organizing the educational activities that are part and parcel of lifelong learning. Industry has brought real—world issues into university classrooms and has taken broad steps to ensure the continuing professional develop— ment of engineers throughout their careers. The sea change in engineering education, both formal and on the job, has transformed civil engineering into a “learning profession,” further enhancing its image as a prob— lem—defining and problem—solving profession in the eyes of the public. This enhanced reputation as a learning profession that recognizes opportunities and addresses major problems has been cited as a key reason why large numbers of young people are entering the civil engineering profession. Civil engineering’s outreach to help build capacity in the develop— ing world has put a human face on the profession, attracting more women, members of minorities, and people interested in socialjustice to the ranks of civil engineering. Because of this new influx, the civil engineering profession now mir~ rors the population it serves. The civil engineering profession has also led the way in recognizing specialty certification as a means of demon~ strating competency in particular areas of civil engineering. During the past 20 years specialty certification has become widely recognized, both within and outside the profession, as a measure of proficiency in a technical field. As a result of both board certification and reform in the preparation of civil engineers, the public has increasingly come to view civil engineers as knowledgeable professionals. Civil engineers have also been at the forefront in curb— ing corruption within the construction industry worldwide. 70 Engineering ethics is one ofthe cornerstones of curbing cor— ruption, and academia and industry have partnered to foster lifelong learning in this key area. ow that a global vision has been established for the N future of civil engineering, leaders have a model to guide their policies, plans, processes, and progress on a broad and diverse front inside and outside the engineer— ing community. Forging a long—term plan to ensure realiza— tion of this vision will require input from a diverse group of leaders and organizations. Individual leaders within the civil engineering community, together with civil engineering organizations, must raise awareness of this vision and create excitement for bringing its objectives to fruition. Within the United States, for example, members of ASCE, the American Association of Engineering Societies, the American Coun— cil of Engineering Companies, and other groups might col— laborate to hold workshops or conferences that focus on the best ways of realizing the vision. Partnering with such sister organizations as the American Institute ofArchitects and the American Planning Association also will help to maximize success in meeting the goals for civil engineering. In addition to technical and professional organizations, client—related organizations must be engaged. Finally, civil engineers must engage the public~the primary beneficiary ofcivil engineering services. Such efforts on the part ofindi— viduals and organizations around the world will be of cardi— nal importance in realizing the vision. Today’s civil engineers must transform themselves to meet the challenges of tomorrow. They must stay abreast of changing technologies, market trends, and business devel— opments. Civil engineers must develop and implement new methods that help to further the goals ofsustainable develop— ment and new products that do not harm the environment. Furthermore, they must develop new business practices to lead the way into tomorrow. Educating future civil engineers is an essential component of the vision for the civil engineering profession in 2025. Realizing this vision will require a broader range of knowl— edge, skills, and attitudes, underscoring the need for cur— ricula reform today. Colleges and universities must examine their curricula with an eye to the future so that advances can be made in realizing the vision. In the United States, ABET, Inc., would be a key partner in this area. Similarly, experi— enced engineers should coach and mentor younger engineers in order to enhance the knowledge, skills, and attitudes acquired by the latter as part of their formal education. Several aspects of the vision relate to the civil engineer’s interaction with the public. Civil engineers strive to be— and to be perceived as—trusted advisers to the public and to policy makers regarding infrastructure. To accomplish this the civil engineering community must increasingly seek Civil Engineering AUGUST 2007 opportunities to use its abilities to improve the quality oflife in more areas ofthe world, thereby showing how its services touch the public daily. Collective long—term actions to help achieve the Vision might include the following: ' A more robust educational path for civil engineers that prepares them for leadership and provides the multifac— eted nontechnical skills that will enable them to serve on projects affecting the public good; A more clearly defined organizational structure for the engineering team in which the licensed civil engineer assumes the role of master program and project integrator; Involving more civil engineers in public policy forums in which future directions for society are developed and in which civil engineers can gain public trust; Electing more civil engineers to public office so that they can directly influence policy and legislation relating to infrastructure and sustainability; A greater level of collaboration and communication between civil engineers and nonengineer stakeholders in an effort to balance a sustainable environment with needed infrastructure; Increased research and development to mitigate the effects ofnatural disasters, with civil engineers playing a leading role in devising and implementing the innovations; Greater education and training of engineers in ethics and a greater emphasis on ethics in global engineering prac— tice, enabling engineers to serve as role models; Sharing the vision with precollege students and their par— ents and counselors to better inform them about the pro— fession and thus attract to the profession more of the best and the brightest. U.S. civil engineers can serve as catalysts in sharing the vision with the global civil engineering community. The surest path to success is the integration of knowledge from civil engineers within a broad range of economies, cultures, and circumstances. Now is the time to develop workable and economically feasible solutions to the world’s infrastructure needs and to position civil engineers to embrace this vision for their profession. Electronic downloads of the reportare available at http://tontent .asce.mg/Vislon2025/index.html. Single hard copies may he ordered there as well. I AUGUST 2007 Civil Engineering ASCE Steering Committee to Plan A Summit on the Future of the Civil Engineering Profession in 2025 David G. Mongan, P.E., F.ASCE, president, Whitney, Bailey Cox, & Magnani, LLC, Baltimore, and ASCE’s president—elect (chair) Richard 0. Anderson, P.E., Hon.M.ASCE, principal engiw neer, SOMAT Engineering, Inc., Taylor, Michigan Michael J. Chajes, Ph.D., P.E., professor and chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineer~ ing, University of Delaware Albert Dorman, P.E., L.s., H0n.M.ASCE, founding chairman, AECOM, Los Angeles William M. Hayden, Ph.D., P.E., RASCE, president, Management Quality by Design, Inc., Amherst, New York Rick Kunnath, Chief executive officer, Pankow Oper— ating, Altadena, California Michael Kupferman, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, associate pro— vost, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston James L. Lammie, P.E., Hon.M.ASCE, principal project manager, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Princeton Junc— tion, New Jersey Blaine D. Leonard P.E., F.ASCE, senior manager for research, Utah Department of Transportation, Farmington, Utah Priscilla P. Nelson, Ph.D., Hon.M.ASCE, provost and senior Vice president for academic'affairs, New Jer— sey Institute of Technology T.E. “Ed” Richardson, P.E., M.ASCE, senior vice presi— dent and manager of engineering, Bechtel Group, San Francisco Deborah Snyder, P.E., A.M.ASCE, project manager/ environmental engineer, Camp Dresser & McKee, Inc., Denver Stuart G. Walesh, Ph.D., P.E., I-Ion.M.ASCE, S.G. Walesh Consulting, Englewood, Florida (Editor) Ex Officio Members Thomas A. Lenox, Ph.D., M.ASCE, managing director, ASCE Lawrence H. Roth, P.E., G.E., F.ASCE, deputy executive director, ASCE Jeffrey S. Russell, Ph.D., P.E., RASCE, professor and chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin at Madison ASCE Staff Meggan Farrell, director of international relations and strategic planning Stefan Jaeger, managing director of strategic, geo— graphic, and international initiatives 71 ...
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The_Vision_for_CE_in_2025 - ivil engineers are rightfully...

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